People have different connotations and emotions about a church. Some hate it, some are skeptical, some have a lot of opinion about it and some just don’t care. But me, I’m fascinated with its beauty.
This article is based on what I experienced in a church. I have been attending for almost ten years already and based on my observations, the church is beautiful. It helped me find the meaning of life in this messed-up world.
It led me to the truth: the word of God.
It is a community of people who accepted me in spite of all my flaws and imperfections.
It provided me a lot of practical wisdom through the teachings, sermons and in group discussions. It even gave me an opportunity to try to teach and preach to others helping me to be a better learner.
The church opened my eyes to the reality of the world.
And if I should list down all the things I learned in a church, this might be a book.
But the church is not a place of perfect people. It is filled with imperfect ones who are as much capable of hurting or offending others.
So what’s the difference of them compared to those who don’t go to a church? It’s their heart to become more Christ-like every single day by relying not on their own capacity but on His grace alone.
And based on all of these observations and experiences, I like to give my unbiased opinion about the church.
A church, if operates in a way that conforms with the Scriptures, is one of the strongest forces here on Earth. It has a deep source of power capable of changing the world.
It is one of the main instruments to channel the power of the Supreme Being towards humankind. It is the connection of the imperfection of men to the perfection of God.
It can heal.
It can be a home or a family.
It can be a refuge or protection.
It can provide wisdom: practical and spiritual.
It can bring enlightenment.
It has the potential to bring completion for man’s incompleteness.
Because the church is not made of bricks and stones. It is a person: the bride of Christ.
But the world is trying its best to distort its image through evil examples. A lot of church leaders and members defile its reputation by showing immorality, greed, conceit and pride.
Even one of the most influential leaders of modern history suffered from misrepresentation of a Church: Mahatma Gandhi. He was discriminated, judged and ultimately, denied of having experienced the real essence and purpose of a Christ-centered Church: to share God’s message of hope to anyone who would turn to Him.
The church is a place where you should be accepted no matter what your status is.
That’s why his statement with regards to so-called Christians is really heartbreaking: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
This is a sad picture of a church misrepresenting Christ.
(The Washington Times provided an articulate explanation why Gandhi rejected Christianity: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/gandhi-glimpsed-christ-rejecting-christianity-fals/ )
This would not have happened if these people truly followed Christ and His teachings, because Christ taught His disciples, to prove that they are His followers, they should show love to one another.
I’m not saying it’s a shame Gandhi didn’t become a Christian, that’s not my point. I just hope that the church today will not make the same mistake of misrepresenting Christ to the world by not living out the teachings of Jesus.
Because of people who do not truly comprehend the true meaning of Church and do not live out the principles taught by Christ, people tend to hate the Church itself. And somehow, they are understandable. To despise the people inside the church is to despise the church itself, because ultimately, the church is the people and not the building.
This is the reason why a lot of people have lost their faith in the church, which in turn caused them to lose their belief in the one true God.
If church-goers proclaim that they are the church, they should follow Christ’s example and show the world how a church should properly operate, for it to display its real potential: to bring boundless hope in this fallen world.
The church is the people.
How one exemplifies his/her life will be the basis of men outside the church of how it looks like inside.
And as a follower of Christ, one is called to do the things that Christ did.
To show love to the world.
To have compassion.
To help those who are in need.
To show mercy.
To forgive even up to seventy times seven a day.
To bring hope.
To share the news to those who do not believe, that they are in need of a Savior, Someone died for them, and that saving knowledge is always available for those who will put their faith in Him.
If the church doesn’t fulfill its true purpose, the world is in great peril.
But when Christians show to the world how the church should act and be like, as how Christ wanted it to, this world will definitely be a better place.